2013 CTSI Annual Pilot Awards to Improve the Conduct of Research

To facilitate the development, conduct or analysis of clinical & translational research


New posts and comments will not be accepted.

CTSI sponsored awards of up to $50,000 to the UCSF Campus Community and CTSI Affiliate Organizations for ideas to improve the design, conduct, or analysis of translational research.

Four projects were awarded funding from among 27 proposals.

Proposals (27 total)


Advocacy Impact on Research Agendas

Proposal Status: 

RATIONALE: Realizing that the benefits of the current revolution in biology and oncology would be enhanced by vigorous public support, for the past twenty years, the UCSF Breast Oncology Program (BOP) has implemented comprehensive strategies focused on leveraging advocacy engagements.

Biobank Inventory Software Evaluation

Proposal Status: 

Biobanking Inventory Software Evaluation

Rationale:  Access to high quality human biospecimens and associated clinical data is essential to translational and clinical research programs.  Effective and efficient use of human biospecimens is an important tenet of our role as community-entrusted stewards of these valuable resources.   These points are reflective of the conclusions of the CTSI funded (2008-9) Tissue Task Force that engaged Huron Consulting as well as a recent 2011 audit of UCSF tissue banks by UCSF Audit Services. 

Evaluation of Methods for Bioinformatics Tools Training

Proposal Status: 

Rationale – Background and training in bioinformatics tools is required for the research community at UCSF to remain at the forefront of biomedical research and successfully compete for funding.  Bioinformatics tools help translate our collective molecular understanding of disease into actionable insights and life-improving patient care innovations.

Establishment of centalized freezer surveillance system to increase protection of human biospecimens

Proposal Status: 

Rationale: There are currently about 1000 mechanical – 80 degree Celsius freezers in use at UCSF. The majority of these freezers are used to store biomedical specimens for basic research, translational research, clinical trials, and prospective biobanking efforts.       

Information Interface for Patients, Clinicians and Researchers

Proposal Status: 

Rationale:Taking findings from basic research to practical applications that enhance human health and well-being is the signification of translational research. Improvement in human health and well-being, however, does not necessarily involve the cure of a disease. Sometimes mere information transfer might help patients substantially in dealing with their medical condition. This is particularly true for patients with family history of yet unknown or contradictory diagnoses – in other words for patients with rare hereditary diseases.

Governance of Extant UC Biorepositories

Proposal Status: 

Rationale:  Each UC Biomedical campus contains tens to hundreds of biorepositories. These operations collect human biological samples (tissues and fluids) and associated data for use in research. UC biobanks traditionally have established their own governance structure, which includes rules for accessing, storing and sharing samples/data, including informed consent practices.  Governance, a complicated process, has myriad ethical implications including risk to individuals, identifiability, and data sharing.

Assessment of Participant Health Literacy by Clinical Research Coordinators

Proposal Status: 

Rationale. Successful recruitment and retention of ethnically diverse research participants in clinical studies depends heavily on the comprehension, needs, and preferences of potential participants.  A critical influence on these outcomes is health literacy, the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.[i]  Since 30% of US adults have only basic health literacy,